ROCK ISLAND — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) were joined today by local officials and community leaders to announce the completion of a multiyear project to install a new deck on the Interstate 280 Sgt. John F. Baker Jr. Mississippi River Bridge in Rock Island County, an improvement that will result in a smoother, safer ride on one of the state’s key travel corridors. Made possible by Gov. Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program and a partnership with Iowa, the project included patching and resurfacing east of the bridge for a combined investment of $65.7 million.
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“This is exactly what Rebuild Illinois, our state’s massive infrastructure modernization program, is all about: to make life better and easier for our people,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “When we make smart investments in the roadways that working families and businesses rely on, we’re constructing a better future for the entire region — one where parents and their children can commute with confidence and where new factories and distribution centers are choosing to locate in Illinois, so they can reliably ship their products across the nation.”
The Baker Bridge opened in 1973 and today carries more than 28,000 vehicles a day, almost 20% of which are trucks. The new deck is the first replacement since the bridge opened.
A $49.7 million project began in 2021 with the demolition and replacement of the westbound bridge deck, followed by the eastbound bridge deck in 2022. The final stage of the project, which patched and resurfaced I-280 from the bridge to the Illinois 92 interchange, was combined with another $16 million improvement that extended the work from the Illinois 92 interchange to east of the Milan Beltway. Additional work included bridge painting and lighting upgrades at Illinois 92.
The Iowa Department of Transportation contributed $18.9 million to the bridge improvements.
The combined projects improved more than 6.5 miles of I-280 through the Illinois communities of Coal Valley, Moline, Milan, and Rock Island. The interstate also serves the Quad City International Airport, which is estimated to generate almost $650 million in economic impact annually and supports nearly 4,400 jobs, according to an IDOT analysis of the state’s airports.
“These investments in I-280 will extend the life of another critical border bridge and strengthen the robust multimodal infrastructure system in the Quad Cities,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “I’m proud that we could make these improvements with our partners in Iowa. Working together, we have improved safety, mobility, and commerce between our two states and throughout the Midwest.”
"I am grateful for the leaders that prioritized this funding and helped make this bridge a reality," said State Sen. Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island). "But I want to offer a special 'thank you' to the skilled tradesmen and women that built this bridge from the riverbed up. We are lucky to have an amazing workforce in Illinois and we are a better state because of it."
"We call it the Quad Cities for a reason: every town on both sides of the river needs one another to thrive," said State Rep. Gregg Johnson (D-East Moline). "This bridge is not just connecting two neighboring states, it is connecting one community split by a mighty river."
“It’s innovative infrastructure projects like these that do so much for the local community and the Midwest overall. I’m pleased that this project not only creates jobs and makes the roadway safer, but also helps our economy grow,” said Mike Thoms, Rock Island Mayor.
“Moline is thankful for each and every investment in its critical infrastructure as well as investments in our regional infrastructure,” said Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati of Moline. “Support from Springfield is critical in our no-state region and we appreciate it.”
The I-280 repairs were one of several made possible by Rebuild Illinois this construction season in the Illinois Quad Cities, including: $7 million to patch and resurface Illinois 5 (John Deere Road) in Moline between 16th and 35th streets as well as a $1.3 million project completed in September to patch and resurface Illinois 92 from Turkey Hollow Road to Illinois 192.
Across the state, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history, but also the first that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
Accomplishments through Year Four of Rebuild Illinois include approximately $12.1 billion of improvements statewide on 5,339 miles of highway, 533 bridges, and 762 additional safety improvements. Visit https://idot.click/Rebuild-Illinois for information on other Rebuild Illinois projects happening throughout the state.
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